What is school for?      

01 July 2019, Kathmandu

The goal of education is to help society flourish. It not only aims to prepare one for his/her secured future but also makes them ready to tackle the problems that may arise in the future.. Education is not limited by boundaries as it is a lifelong process. There are variations in learning people learn many things from experience but  one way is to attach himself  through school, colleges, and universities for formal education.

Schools are supposed to develop skills and capabilities while encouraging kids to “think differently” and maximize their abilities. We, humans have acquired thousands of potentialities by birth. These talents grow up if they get proper environment. In this context, it is a thoughtful issue if our schooling system is able to develop a child’s ability and lead him/her towards perfection.

What determines academic Success?
Many factors contribute for academic success. The first one is exam/school test.  This is considered as the  major determinant of evaluation. In some cases, it is considered as the only factor to measure one’s ability. Exams are prepared to find out how much an individual has gained from the prescribed curriculum, or how much he/she is able to deal with the problem the questions raise. Although, it teaches an individual to work hard for the result, it doesn’t contribute to the overall skill development, personal growth or teach the students the essential value. Rather, it examines the level of mug learning through certain questions. So, this exam centered education focuses on competition instead of collaboration that doesn’t help them outside the examination hall.

 What should be done to achieve academic success in school? Reject examinations? Make students memorize the whole course book? Or, what else? A different approach should be taken in education system. The aim of education should not be guided by examination mentality. It should focus on the development of overall accepts of students through various approaches like field trip, regular ECAS/CCAS, practical learning and observation should be used being based on the concept of “Learning by doing”.

We have heard many parents complaining about their children who do not wish to go to school. This is the failure of societal concept of education. Children understand that school is the place where teachers come, ask them about class work and homework, punish them for some faults and they are kept under strict rules and regulations. Why can’t teachers be their friends? Why can’t school attract them? That day a student learns everything when he/she wishes to go school by own. If a teacher goes with student’s interests and makes rational decisions on their choices, he/she will be able to touch the heart of every child in the class. Can a teacher teach in a class where every student desires to go out and play a game? May be he/she can teach but with no result because the interest of a person determines the learning process. What if a teacher lectures for 45 minutes and not a single student gets what is taught. The fundamental problem lies her.  So, understanding student’s interests is essential in teaching, learning process.

Yet, there is another side of people who have the opinion that a person doesn’t need certificates or pass degrees to be a successful person. To some extent, we can also agree with this opinion as knowledge grows with maturity and some ruling personalities in today’s world are university dropouts. Some renowned names like Bill Gates, Thomas Alba Edison, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zukerberg etc all are university dropouts. The list can be longer. A closer example is the CEO of Alibaba.com (Chinese citizen Jack Maa) who was rejected by university ten times and the same person became the only person to be rejected among 24 candidates for his first job. Crossing long journey of ups and downs of life, he is listed in the list of world’s richest persons today. He says Hard-labor, self-confidence, belief on self and a positive attitude are the keys for his success.

What should we do then? Leave school? Definitely not. Education is must for a person in any situation of life. But its primary aim should not only be to provide good job for someone but producing a civilized citizen who understands life and the scenario of the world. If technical and behavioral education is emphasized, no educated un-employed would be there and no youth would seek his destiny in the mushrooming consultancies in a haste after +2 for his brighter future.

The goal of education should not be to produce workers but entrepreneurs. To do so, school should make students creative, innovative and independent. They should teach one to work hard, create a mission and chase it, go with their interests and understand the changing structure of the world with dignity. They should also learn to adjust them with any situation. The school should as well teach about way of living to prepare a man with value.

Mr. Lamichhane is doing his Masters Degree in English from RR Campus.
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